Jesus gave himself for us to rescue us from all lawlessness (unjust world systems) and cleanse us (wash away all the wrongs these unjust systems have caused) so that we can be his people enthusiastically committed to doing good works. — Titus 2:14
Unjust systems create pain in three very different ways: The very soul of the oppressor resides deeper and deeper in a hell they create as they hurt others on behalf of their own agenda. The moral character of the by-stander is ripped to shreds as they do nothing to stop the oppressor. The hopes and dreams of the oppressed are stomped on as they are held back from being and achieving all God created for them.
But Jesus came to rescue us from both unjust systems and the pain they cause. In fact, we pray for this every Sunday when we pray the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy Kingdom Come! Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We have a lot of work to do, because from buying unjustly sourced goods to participating in racism (and everything in between), unjust systems own us.
So what do Jesus’ rescued people look like?
The oppressor not only stops oppressing, but is committed to the good works of making amends. The by-stander not only stops the oppressor, but is committed to the good works of supporting the oppressed. The oppressed (and this is the hardest thing of all – the hardest thing God asks of anyone) does the good works of forgiving both the oppressor and the bystander – for by forgiving and loving the undeserving, they will be teachers and examples to the rest of us. They will lead us to a better world.
Love means that no matter what position we have held in unjust world systems, we are now enthusiastically committed to doing the good works of living out the Kingdom of God and dismantling injustice.
April Love-Fordham is blogging about LOVE in 2018.
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April has written a unique Disorderly Parable Bible Study series for groups and individuals that teaches the lessons of scripture through modern parables.